Orbulon and the Founder of Symol Hole: Part Two
Recap: Orbulon has arrived in Meridell, where he rolled over some of Illusen's
tools and eventually fell down Symol Hole. In the Hole, Orbulon accidentally destroyed
a priceless statue, which greatly upset the Earth Guardian. Orbulon is about to
start his new assignment.
Chapter 2 of 3:
In the forest, and dangerously close to Illusen's glade,
Jhudora the Dark Faerie brooded. What was it about Illusen that made her so
infuriatingly popular with the Neopets? Jhudora's Cloud was just as easy to
get to as Illusen's Glade, and Faerieland was cleaner than muddy old Meridell.
Illusen certainly wasn't prettier, either, so why were so many more Neopets
taking her quests? With all of the stuff she made them get for her, Illusen
had a gorgeous garden, a lavish closet and wealth to spare. Jhudora's furniture
needed replacing and she only had the one outfit after the last one got torn
in a battle with Chiazilla. The whole situation baffled her.
Speaking of Illusen's questers, a Kacheek came
walking along, polishing off one of Illusen's Cream Cookies. Now was Jhudora's
chance to find out why Neopets liked that raggedy Earth Faerie so much.
She pointed a long finger at the Kacheek. "You!
The Kacheek stopped dead in his tracks.
"Didn't you hear me? I said come here."
He started to sweat and his eyes wandered over
the trees around him.
Jhudora stomped over to the Neopet. "Now then,
Kacheek, I have a question for you. Why is it that you're here instead of at
The Kacheek swallowed hard before stuttering
"Well, spit it out!"
"Don't hurt me, Madam Jhudora! I just wanna
She rolled her eyes. "Yeesh, just because a
Faerie's bent on world domination, all of the sudden that makes her 'evil.'
Look, kid, I'm not gonna hurt you. Just answer my question: Why are you doing
one of Illusen's Quests?"
The Kacheek started sobbing. "I didn't mean
to get into trouble. I just wanted a Cream Cookie because I'm hungry."
A light flashed on in Jhudora's head. Neopets
didn't seem to be terribly fond of her Poisonous Lollypops, but she had no idea
why. They tasted like grape and were not actually poisonous; it was just a creepy
Dark Faerie name. Could it be that Illusen's Cream Cookies were the secret to
her success? "Well, Kacheek, I am done with you. You may leave now."
The Kacheek scampered away as fast as he could
to his little Meridellian home.
'Hm,' thought Jhudora. 'Illusen must
put some magic ingredient in her cookies to make Neopets love them so much.
That lousy cheat. I'll get her, I'll get her good. I'll steal her Cream Cookie
recipe and then I'll have the devoted questers!' With an evil cackle, she
walked deeper into the forest toward Illusen's Glade.
The Founder led Orbulon down yet another dismal,
torch-lit passage that got warmer the farther they went. This reminded Orbulon
of an unpleasant experience he had on Mystery Island, so he hoped the Founder
knew what he was doing.
Another cavern opened up in front of them, this
one with a giant bowl resting in the center with flames licking up from it.
A red canine Petpet approached them, his posture regal and calm. Orbulon remained
silent in awe of the fire-red Anubis and his cavern.
"Fire Guardian," said the Founder, "this is
Orbulon. He upset the Earth Guardian, but I believe you may be able to harness
his energy for the good of our army."
The Fire Guardian nodded and looked at Orbulon.
He motioned for him to follow him and the little alien obeyed. As they walked,
the Fire Guardian spoke. "Orbulon, this flame in the center of my training camp
is called the Everlasting Flame. It is a symbol of the power of all Petpets,
and the unstoppable spirit that Symol Hole represents. Since Symol Hole's founding,
that fire has never been extinguished."
Orbulon did not understand everything the Fire
Guardian had just said, but it stirred within him a respect for the fire, the
Guardian, and all of Symol Hole.
Wooden targets stood in rows throughout the cavern,
and the Fire Guardian stationed Orbulon in front of one. Bringing Orbulon a
spear, he said, "The ultimate weapon of a Symol Hole Warrior is the Fire Spear.
But before you can wield such a weapon, you must first master its wooden counterpart.
Gingerly taking the wood spear, Orbulon eyed
it with unease.
"Does it frighten you?" asked the Anubis.
"It should. It is a powerful thing, the spear
of the Fire Guardian. To gain trust in the spear, let us perform an exercise."
The Fire Guardian took the spear back and directed Orbulon to stand next to
the wooden target. The Guardian stood several paces away and explained that
he would hit the target with his spear, allowing Orbulon to see the spear in
action and learn to trust his instructor.
Orbulon worried the Anubis might accidentally
turn him into a shish kebab, but the Everlasting Flame burning brightly beside
him instilled him with confidence. He stood proud, waiting for the Guardian
to unleash the spear.
The Fire Guardian pulled his arm back, aimed
and hurled the spear. Orbulon chickened out. He saw the pointy piece of wood
hurtling toward his forehead and he ducked, knocking over the wood target in
the process. The wood target spun on its side like a giant coin. The spear ricocheted
off its target and collided with the side of the bowl holding the Everlasting
Flame. The bowl rolled off its stand, and like another giant coin, spun around
a couple of times before falling on its face. With a slight hissing noise, the
Everlasting Flame was no more.
After the clap of the bowl hitting the ground
reverberated throughout the room, silence echoed in its place. The sparring
Petpets made no sound; the clang of their spears had ended. The Fire Guardian
gaped. Orbulon's stomach growled, and the floodgates of noise opened. The Petpets
chattered, spears clashed on the floor, and the Anubis squeaked - the sound
of pressure building up in his chest like a kettle.
"But... how..." he babbled. "It was only...
The pitter patter of little Symol feet came
down the stairway into the cavern. The Founder gasped as his little eyes saw
the not-so-Everlasting Flame. "What happened here?"
"Your recruit did this!" squeaked the Fire Guardian;
he was actually starting to sound prepubescent. "He must be a master saboteur
to so precisely ricochet my spear into the Everlasting Flame!"
The Founder shuffled around the bowl, looking
at it from all sides, sniffing it with his button nose. All the while the Fire
Guardian babbled about Orbulon's evil plan to destroy their "resistance."
"No, Guardian, no," replied the Founder while
shaking his head. "He couldn't possibly. He's not conniving enough for something
like this - I mean, look at him! And why? Why the Everlasting Flame and not
something important like the artillery?"
"Not import-" Anubis could barely squeak the
words out. "Not important! The Everlasting Flame is a symbol of Symol Hole's
unconquerable spirit and unbreakable..."
After that Orbulon sort of tuned them out. They
argued for a few minutes while Orbulon pondered whether or not he would see
that lovely velvet bed again. Life on the Space Station was so much simpler.
Up there he could go around minding his own business, never noticed and never
bothered. Orbulon noticed the Founder pointing at him, saying something.
"...and you are never to return to Symol Hole
again! You're just the most accident-prone creature I've ever - and anyway,
neither of the Guardians will train you. So, get outta here."
Orbulon was escorted by a buff Faellie up the
never-ending maze of stairs. Orbulon had enjoyed his stay, but if the pampering
cost this much grief it wasn't worth it. The Faellie helped him up out of the
hole, and Orbulon stood blinking in the sunlight for a few minutes before being
able to see the surrounding landscape. He wasn't sure how long he'd been down
in the Symol's Hole, but the sun was shining bright over the planet, and the
sky was still that funky blue color instead of black like it should be.
The neon blue sky was the last straw. It hurt
his eyes. So, once again, Orbulon vowed that he would get back to his fabulously
dull life on the Virtupets Space Station. First step: get as close to the Space
Station as possible by climbing up the highest piece of ground. After that,
he'd figure something out.
The tallest thing in eyeshot was the tree-covered
hill he had rolled down before falling in that hole. Orbulon began to hike,
which was not his favorite pastime. It wasn't his fault he couldn't walk fast
- the Space Faerie made him with stubby legs. He hadn't ventured far into the
forest when he saw a purple figure who looked disturbingly like that scary winged
person on Mystery Island.
To be continued...